Blackwell Library
Holloway Hall

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Copyright Symbol imageThis section includes a few answers to general questions, but primarily answers questions asked by University faculty, staff, and students. To ask a question, e-mail Mou Chakraborty, Director of Public Services at Blackwell Library,

Select one of the following topics:

  • Film


Question: The department has bought a film and would like to show it to the campus and the broader community as part of series of special events. Is this possible?

Answer: No, not unless the purchase of the film included performance rights. The copyright owner has sole rights to public performance. Ownership does not confer rights to perform/show a film. The exceptions are for teaching. Section 110 (1)(2) permits performance when the intent is teaching, not entertainment, and the work is shown in a classroom or other area used as a classroom. The Teach Act allows direct transmission of portions of a film and rarely an entire film to distance learners. Also, Fair Use doesn't apply here. The market impact, amount of the work used (the entire film), and the nature of the work (degree of creativity) wouldn't seem to weigh in favor of a public performance.